Kids spend a lot of time in front of screens these days. Even if you start off trying to be the type of parent who doesn’t allow it (or very rarely allows it), you can quickly give in. It’s an easy way to keep them entertained, and it’s hard to resist once they make friends who have tablets and smartphones. Don’t worry if you can’t resist giving them a bit of screen time because it’s not all bad. It can have some benefits for your child, as long as you’re thoughtful about what they’re engaging with. Check out some of the advantages screen time can offer.
Some Screens Are Better Than Others
One thing that’s important to acknowledge is the not all screen time is the same. Different activities offer different levels of engagement so some of them could be better for your kids than others. For example, there’s some evidence that lots of passive TV watching could result in behavioural problems. But children who play engaging games on a tablet haven’t shown the same behaviours in studies. If you want to choose the right screen time for your kids, pick something that will engage them. This could even be watching TV, but it should be something that gets them to think. Even sitting with them and asking questions as they watch could help.
Depending on what’s on the screen and how your child is interacting with it, screen time can be educational. You probably already know that it’s easy to download a safe kids app onto a tablet so your child can play educational games. There are also educational TV shows, puzzles and ways for kids to get creative using a tablet or computer. There’s also evidence that combining touchscreens with books makes reading more enjoyable for children, according to a Literacy Trust survey. In fact, children from low socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to be level with their peers if they use both books and screens at home.
Boost Kids Confidence and Cooperativeness
Using screens doesn’t just boost knowledge and learning. It could also help your child to be more cooperative and to speak up more. Rosie Flewitt from the Institute of Education found that children who used iPads felt more confident about speaking up, which she thinks is because they use multimedia and offer immediate feedback. If you want to boost your child’s confidence and social skills, the right kind of screen time could help.